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Rice throwing wedding: custom & alternatives

Throwing rice at the wedding is a popular tradition. What is this custom all about and is it still allowed to throw rice after the wedding ceremony? In this article we explain where this tradition originally comes from and where throwing rice is forbidden. Also, we have for you beautiful alternatives that are just as much fun as throwing rice at the wedding.

Throwing rice after the wedding ceremony

Throwing rice at the wedding – origin & meaning

This ancient custom is one of many wedding customs that is still celebrated and implemented at some weddings today. In fact, it has something to do with the Japanese people. Originally, rice throwing is a tradition from Asia. In Europe, wheat grains and rye were also used in the past, but later people switched to rice here as well. 

If you are already being thrown rice by the guests after your wedding ceremony, you surely want to know why? We can reassure you: Your guests mean you no harm, quite the opposite. Rice is a symbol of life and fertility at a wedding. It is supposed to make the fertility goddess aware that she keeps a good eye on the bride and groom.

So if your guests throw a lot of rice at you, they want to say: “We wish you good luck on your life together and many healthy children”. In addition, throwing rice is also supposed to appease evil spirits so that no harm will come to you as the bride and groom.

Bride and groom after the wedding ceremony

Where is rice throwing allowed – where forbidden?

It is not entirely surprising that throwing rice at the wedding is not welcomed everywhere. In fact, in some places it is even forbidden and can result in fines.

Besides the fact that the rice has to be removed by someone later, it can also attract unwelcome guests, such as rats and mice. It could also cause accidents, as the rice on the floor creates an increased risk of slipping.

The misconception that raw rice is harmful to birds still runs deep in many people today. If you still do not want to do without the traditional rice throwing at your wedding, you should ask the responsible priest or the gentleman or lady from the registry office for permission beforehand.

Bride and groom after the ceremony

Alternatives to rice throwing

You don’t play with food! Lately, a few alternative options have spread that are just as well received and look just as, if not more, beautiful in your wedding photos:

  • Confetti
  • Candies
  • streamers
  • Bubbles
  • Scatter deco
  • flowers and rose petals

Birdseed (so that even the small spectators have something from your wedding)

Even with the alternative options (especially with confetti), you should get permission beforehand or invite a cleaning crew directly to the wedding, who will clean up the mess behind you. You are on the safe side with soap bubbles. Hand out small bubble bottles to your guests in advance and they can really start blowing when you come out of the church or the registry office freshly married.

Colored rice to throw

Grains of rice in the color of your choice? There is! Instead of ordinary white rice, there is now also specially dyed rice in a variety of colors. Don’t worry, this rice won’t leave any unpleasant color stains on your beautiful wedding dress. The “wedding rice” is specially produced so that it does not stain and is not toxic.

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